climate change

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Anticipating the growing effects of climate change, the cities of Portland and South Portland have created what is being called a Joint Climate Action and Adaptation plan.

Sea-level rise due to global warming along the coast of Maine is increasing at a rapid pace, with some estimates predicting levels to rise by as much as two feet by 2050. We'll discuss what is causing the waters to rise more quickly, how it will impact coastal communities and structures, and what towns and individuals can do to prepare. We'll also find out how historic buildings can be protected from rising waters.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon visited a South Portland solar power company Friday to unveil a broad set of climate policy goals she would pursue if elected over Republican incumbent Susan Collins.

Caroline Losneck

A nonprofit tech company has released a powerful online tool for analyzing a property’s flood risks now and into the future.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Atmospheric and oceanographic scientists are just as concerned as anyone about helping their friends and family, the nation and the world make it through the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is also their job to pay attention to a kind of grand experiment that's underway — an unprecedented hiatus in human pressure on global ecosystems and what that hiatus could mean on the ground, and on the water, for Maine.

  This is the first segment of a special two-hour Maine Calling, as we continue to cover the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global shutdown of travel and other human activity has been the first, massive reduction of resources and emissions to happen on this scale. It's an inadvertent experiment on how climate change could be slowed if everyone in the world curtailed their actions that harm the environment. We discuss what short-term changes have already been measured, and what may happen in terms of long-term changes due to shifts in behavior and global collaboration – or whether these changes are fleeting.


Journalist and author Mark Kurlansky’s latest book explores the significance of salmon as a species worldwide, and as an indicator of the health of our planet. Kurlansky traveled to multiple countries to study the history of man’s relationship with salmon, and how human interference has threatened this species to the point that it is almost beyond saving. We will learn why salmon’s future survival is so closely linked to the health of the global environment in the face of climate change—and how this fish’s story has played out in Maine.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a Topsham-based conservation organization, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the completion of a six-year campaign to raise $125-million.

Chuck Burton / AP File

The threat of climate change is forcing Maine to contemplate a future that relies increasingly on electricity: electricity to heat homes and cool them and to power vehicles. Recently, Efficiency Maine's Executive Director Michael Stoddard talked to legislators about a report that documents the need for that shift.

Stoddard joined Maine Public host Irwin Gratz to talk about this report.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Government scientists told the state's climate council Wednesday that Maine has been reducing its overall emissions of climate-warming pollution over the last several decades. And they say that the carbon-absorbing capacity of Maine's vast forests could ease the road to meeting ambitious goals set by Gov. Janet Mills and the Legislature.

Last year was the second hottest on record globally, according to the latest climate data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

It's the latest confirmation that the Earth is steadily getting hotter — the planet has already warmed about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (or almost 1 degree Celsius) compared with in the mid-20th century — and that robust greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming to continue unabated.

Ben Margot / Associated Press

A coalition of a dozen states released a draft agreement on Tuesday for a cap-and-trade program supporters say could drive down greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, while producing billions of dollars for participating states. But opponents say the Transportation Climate Initiative depends on a regressive gas tax that will hurt rural residents in particular. And the question of whether Maine Gov. Janet Mills will sign on is still open.

bigelow laboratory for ocean sciences

Research being conducted at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay indicates the world’s oceans have far more life in it than previously understood.

But you can't see any of it.

The steep decline in birds throughout North America has been dubbed a "crisis." New research published recently in Science shows bird populations have dropped by about 3 billion across North America—an overall decline of 29 percent from 1970. As the annual Christmas Bird Count kicks off (Dec 14-25), we discuss why this is happening, what the outlook is for birds in Maine, and what individuals can do to help.

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date November 6, 2019); no calls will be taken.

Climate change has the potential to wreak havoc on Maine’s coast and coastal islands. Since 1950, the sea level along the coast of Maine has risen eight inches and is continuing to rise at the rate of one inch every eight years. Warming waters and ocean acidification present additional challenges to those residing and making a living on Maine’s islands. Multiple efforts are underway to protect and conserve Maine's coastal islands, beaches, marshes, bold coast, working harbors and more against erosion and damage from strong waves and storm surges. We discuss those threats and initiatives to increase access to the Maine coast for recreational use and commercial access.